Budino al Cioccolato
Chocolate might not be the first flavor that comes to mind when considering Italian desserts. It’s more likely that the phrase “Italian dessert” will bring to mind the light Marsala-flavored custard, Zabaglione, over fresh fruit, or perhaps the espresso kick of tiramisu or the light fruit flavors of a granita. Chocolate tends to be more of an accent rather than a focal point in Italian desserts – a light dusting of bitter cocoa powder as a foil to sweet mascarpone cream or perhaps a drizzle of tempered dark chocolate on crunchy-crumbly hazelnut biscotti.
In Budino al Cioccolato, however, chocolate stands front and center. Italian for pudding Budino al Cioccolato is Italian Chocolate Pudding. Like most desserts, budino can mean different things to different people. Some budinos are akin to French baked custards, like pots de creme. Some are cooked on the stove top. Some recipes have crumbled cookies added as the thickener.
My favorite type of budino is the kind that is like a flourless cake – a thin crisp crust, moist cake and a gooey, almost liquid center. There are budino recipes for everything from vanilla to butterscotch to lemon, but, in a nod to America’s love affair with chocolate, I give you Budino al Cioccolato.
Chocolate Pudding Recipe Italian Style
- Vegetable spray for greasing the pan Individual cupcake liners - the metallic kind are cool
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 4 oz 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 8 ounces best quality bitter-sweet chocolate
- 4 large eggs room temperature
- 1 and 1/3 cups granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup neutral vegetable oil for added moistness/tenderness
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon salt maybe a bit more, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
- Put the cupcake liners in the greased pan, and preheat the pan, too.
- Combine the butter and cream in small saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Chop 5 ounces of the chocolate and put it in a medium bowl. Cut the remaining 3 ounces into 1/4 ounce chunks and reserve.
- When the cream mixture comes to a simmer, pour it over the 5 oz of chocolate and mix gently to incorporate the ingredients. Let cool. (This is a ganache).
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, oil, cocoa powder and cornstarch until the sugar has dissolved.
- Pour the cooled ganache into the egg mixture and gently mix just until the batter is smooth. Scoop about 1/4 cup of the batter into each mold (about 3/4 of the way up the sides).
- Tuck a 1/4 ounce chunk of the reserved chocolate into the center of each cupcake.
- Bake until the edges are set and the center still looks a little moist, about 30 minutes.
- Cool the pan on a rack for 10 minutes and then unmold the budinos.
- Dust them with powdered sugar, and serve warm.